Private Journeys

Self-drive Mexico: Discover the Yucatan Peninsula

13 days from £1,850pp

Mexico

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Essentials

Transport

Self-drive car, Chevrolet Aveo or similar with air-conditioning.

Accommodation

Here we always have chosen properties convenient for exploring the cultural attractions in the area. They are all mid-range but vary in style from historic conversions to resort style properties and cosy, rustic and homely guesthouses. 

Meals

Breakfast daily.

Guides

We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 25 years. Their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by the latter on their return.

Summary Of Nights

13 days, 12 nights: Cancún 1; Chichén Itzá 1; Mérida 3; Campeche 2; Chicanná 2; Tulum 3.

Currency

The unit of currency in Mexico is the Mexican peso.

How To Take It

Cash machines are available in all major cities and towns, such as Cancún and Mérida. Taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip, and in many shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds. Not all petrol stations accept cards.

We recommend that additionally you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can exchange into local currency, and possibly some travellers’ cheques, though these are gradually falling out of use (American Express are the most widely accepted). Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused. You can take sterling, but the exchange rate is not always competitive or even available, restricting the number of places where you can change money.

Daily Spend

It is very difficult to give a guideline for essential expenses but a budget of around US$45 per day should cover the cost of meals not included in the holiday itinerary, drinks and the odd souvenir. Eat at the best restaurants and you will pay considerably more. US$200 is an approximate fuel allowance for this trip.    

Tipping

Tips are expected and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income.

Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 – 12% in restaurants.

Tipping guidelines can be found in our Briefing Dossier.

Insurance And Documents

Travel insurance is essential. 

Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance page. Additional Liability and Loss Damage Waiver (CDW without excess and inclusion of theft protection) is included as well as Personal Accident and Third Party insurance

Visas

Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.

If flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your online ESTA application.

Airport Taxes

If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.

Journey Grade

There are no really long days of travel on the suggested routes of this trip. The routes from A to B take about 3hrs (max) but you may well want to make a detour or stop off for a while. Roads are generally in good condition but less used routes may have potholes. Signage on major roads is good, less so on minor roads. Many people speak a little English but a smattering of Spanish will stand you in good stead.

If you have a disability that we need to be aware of, please contact us. 

In the months of June to August the weather is extremely hot and humid, you might want bear this in mind. July to November there are chances of tropical storms or hurricanes hitting the region.

Climate

The Yucatán peninsula is hot (around 30°C) and humid all year round. October – April is the driest and sunniest period. The hurricane season runs from July to November.

Clothing And Special Equipment

For day-to-day wear you should take loose-fitting, breathable clothes. Comfortable shoes are important and sports sandals are useful. A sun hat, sun block and sunglasses are necessary, and you should take a light fleece for cool nights and a breathable/waterproof outer layer and/or umbrella, as well as swimwear, a towel, insect repellent and a torch. If you plan to go to good restaurants or out for evening entertainment, you might bring something a bit smarter as well (although formal attire will not be required).

Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts. 

Vaccinations

Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following:  tetanus; hepatitis A. You should consult your GP for specific requirements, including advice on yellow fever and malaria tablets.

You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website. 

Country info

When is the best time to go to Mexico?

It’s a year-round destination. Over half the country enjoys temperate highland weather, while the coasts are mostly sunny, hot and relatively humid. The northwest has an arid desert climate. Elsewhere most rain falls from Jun to Sep though precipitation can be expected up to Nov. Hurricanes are possible around the Gulf of Mexico and Yucatán Peninsula Jul - Nov.

For more detailed information visit our When To Go section.

What is the official language of Mexico?

Spanish and indigenous languages.

What is Mexico's official currency?

Mexican peso. Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs using a UK credit or debit card. You may have to ask your bank to authorise withdrawals before you leave leave UK, and amounts are limited to about £100.

What is the time difference between Mexico and the UK?

GMT -6 hours and - 7 hours in Southern Baja California and the Copper Canyon.  

What other countries combine well with Mexico?

A visit to neighbouring Belize, where there are luxury eco-lodges, superb diving and snorkelling all embraced in British Caribbean cultural heritage.

What are the festivals, cultural and sporting events in Mexico?

Independence Day, 16 Sep Celebrations throughout the country.
Día de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, 1 - 2 Nov. Celebrated throughout the country.

What's included in the price

  • Services of our team of experts in our London office
  • Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides
  • Car hire with assistance in Cancún
  • Road map of the area
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and gratuities
  • Meals other than specified
  • International flights to Latin America
  • Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
  • Optional excursions

What's included in the price

  • Services of our team of experts in our London office
  • Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides
  • Car hire with assistance in Cancún
  • Road map of the area
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and gratuities
  • Meals other than specified
  • International flights to Latin America
  • Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
  • Optional excursions

Inspired by this trip

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

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Your edit for Latin American inspiration

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

View Extraordinary Inspiration

Real Latin America Experts

  • Ben Line
    Ben Line - Travel Consultant

    Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Manager of the Tailor-made Department.

  • Paul Winrow Giffen
    Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Consultant

    After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.

  • Chris Rendell Dunn
    Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Consultant

    Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our Sales team.

  • Hannah Waterhouse
    Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Consultant

    Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.

  • Sophie Barber
    Sophie Barber - Travel Consultant

    Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia.

  • Hannah Donaldson
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Consultant

    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is an invaluable part of our Group Tours team.

Meet the team